abbey is thankful

this girl is thankful for:

the first time we sung DON'T STOP BELIEVIN' in a piano bar and it legit changed our life

the rbc & i just got back from a quick jaunt down to las vegas. we decided to take advantage of the crappy economy and stayed for a song at the palazzo.

we stayed in their basic room--the luxury suite. but at 720 sq. feet, it's nearly twice the size of a normal las vegas hotel room. and we were in love instantly. it officially became our newest favorite destination in sin city when we walked into the lobby and it smelled GOOD.

we stumbled onto our other newest las vegas favorite by chance--

the 'dueling pianos' is at the bar at times square at new york new york hotel and casino. we found it by following the sounds of people singing justin timberlake's "rock your body" at the top of their lungs.

the room is set up with 2 pianos facing each other, surrounded by the crowd. the men at the piano were insanely gifted and talented, and hopped from song to song as requested by patrons like they had the whole catalog of i-tunes indexed in their brains.

they knew how to work the room, when to play what, and how to do it. i thought a lady next to me was gonna faint when they broke into "ice, ice baby".

oh, wait. that was ME.

we sung, we clapped, we danced. we found out that drunk people were especially entertaining to watch when singing en masse.

the best part of the evening came right before we left (at 2 a.m., i might add.) and the crowd nearly went ballistic when the pianos launched into, "just a city boy.................born & raised in south detroit......"


people were swaying and high-fiving. the two men next to me embraced and wiped away tears. rainbows and unicorns appeared-- i swear, there was so much love in the room at the moment that you could have bottled it and given it to needy orphans for christmas.

it was then that i realized that, if we wanted to end all wars and bloodshed, we would need to do only one thing: put on a journey's greatest hits record and crank the volume all the way up.

steve perry: ambassador of world peace.

us gals totally hit the twilight movie at pineview 10

yes, yet another blog entry to add to the millions of photos blog-wide of women bonding at twilight.

bond we did at the matinee on friday--me, mom, megan, bailey, kamari, hadley, kristin, chandler, katie, kennedy, & jody.

there was a LOT of estrogen in that dark room. and these girls contributed to it:

i was totally entertained by the flick. it helped that i went in with low expectations (i read the reviews) and didn't take anything too literally. i thought that bella & edward had some great chemistry, even if he had to wear lip gloss.

while watching the movie, i had an epiphany:

if bella's blood was "edward's brand of heroin", then i think she should do this:

so she could give him THIS:

she could even wrap it up, all festive-like, and put it under the christmas tree.

"mawwwrraige." or i got to marry russ clove

1. Where did you and your husband meet? cruising st. george boulevard. so classy.

2. How long before you kissed? we still haven't kissed. we are waiting for our 25th anniversary to make it 'SPECIAL'.

3. Who kissed who first? HELLO!? see #2

4. How long from the time you met until you were engaged? How long from the engagement to the wedding? 3 years from meeting to engagement, 4 months from engagement to wedding.

5. How did he propose? on a carriage ride around temple square in salt lake. two thumbs up.

6. Did he pick out the ring or did you? he did. but i've been a beyotch since WAAAAAAYYY back and told him to spend the money on the diamond, not all the little crap surrounding it. he did magnificent.

7. Do you still like the ring? yes, but it's gone. i lost it 7 years ago and have a new one. i'm convinced that there is some maverick night-shift clerk wearing it even as i type.

8. Where was your wedding and reception? we got married in the st. george temple and had our reception out at the club house at crystal lakes in sunbrook.

9. How many bridesmaids did you have and who was your maid of honor? i had 7 bridesmaids and 1 flower girl (megan.) my sister loni was my maid of honor.

10. What color were your bridesmaid dresses? an unfortunate floral. i was impaired. it was the early 90's.

11. What was your bouquet made of? LOVED my bouquet--it was beautiful. it had all sorts of beautiful spring and summer flowers, but i don't know the name of a single one.

12. Who gave you away? my daddy.

13. Did you cry during your wedding? i teared up one time--russ's grandpa was a sealer and got to perform the ceremony, so that was really touching.

14. What style was your dress? another unfortunate early 90's mistake--it was a "mermaid" style with lots and lots and LOTS of beaditry. i did love it, though. now my girls mock it. as they should.

15. Was your wedding kiss sweet or sexy? his grandpa was standing 2 feet away--very short and sweet.

16. Who caught your bouquet? my cousin, teri. i think she used the "gut-face-groin" move and it served her well.

17. What flavor was your cake? i can't remember. but it had fondant on it which i loved.

18. Did you smash the cake onto each other's faces or feed it to each other nicely? no. i wasn't about the smashing bit. i thought it was tacky. (but i VALIDATE you if you smashed. really.)

19. What was "your song" that you danced to at your wedding? we didn't dance to a song.

20. What did you serve your guests to eat? my mom spent a lot of time making lots of nummy things--cookies, cakes, brownies, sandwiches. the food was awesome.

21. What did your friends do to decorate your car? we hid it. no dice.

22. What was your favorite wedding gift? 500 dollars that my uncle gave us. cash is king!

23. What was the worst wedding gift you got? where do i start? i can't name names, but let's just say that it involved TOLE PAINTING. enough said.

24. Where did you go on your honeymoon? jamaica. it was OFF THE HOOK.

25. Looking back, is there anything you would have changed about your wedding? yes--i should have taken my dad's offer for money and chucked the reception to the curb. but i grew up in utah--i thought it was a law.

ralphie's house for the holidays: a christmas story b&b

mindi and dad--1979

i always love to watch a movie with my dad. as children, it always seemed like we enjoyed the film just a little more if dad was watching. the jokes were funnier, the romance was sweeter, and the songs were more heart-felt if dad was in the room.

i don't know exactly WHY that was, but all i know is that it continues to happen even now.

case in point: two weeks ago when my dad wanted me and the girls to go to high school musical 3 with him. now, keep in mind that mindi had already seen zac & company, TWICE. (it's a sickness. don't judge.) but all i had to hear was that my dad was going, and i was IN.

my all-time favorite movie to watch with my dad is a christmas story.

he laughs throughout the whole entire film, and it's totally infectious.

the experience includes:

*airfare for four people from anywhere in the lower 48 states to cleveland, OH (up to $1800 total.

*2 day, 2 night stay for four in a suite provided by the renaissance cleveland hotel.

*christmas eve accommodations for four at the 'a christmas story' house.

*christmas eve dinner for four provided by pearl of orient chinese restaurant.

*christmas day dinner for four provided by sans souci, an award-winning, fine-dining restaurant in the renaissance hotel.

*$200 stipend for food & beverages during stay

i thought i should bid, but at posting time the winning bid was $2500.00, which was just a little bit rich for this girl's blood.

two of my favorite scenes in the movie are:

the leg lamp's glow of "electric sex"

get your own full size leg lamp HERE

or download your own MAJOR AWARD certificate HERE

gobble gobble: mia's sweetest turkey hand

you would think that with child number four, i would be sick of these things.
but they get me every time. NEVER FAILS.

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thankful thursday

things i am thankful for this week:

my husband who is a SUPERSTAR. for reals. russ helped me last week with all of the stupid little things in our house that really didn't need fixing before the open house, since nobody but me would notice. but he was a righteous dude and worked his butt off for me--he deserves mad props and a big fat raise. which i plan on giving him immediately, if not sooner.

speaking of open houses--here are a few photos from last thursday. one of the highlights of the night? meeting melissa, tiburon's buddy who happened to be in santa jorge for the week!! she was adorable, but i'm afraid i scared her. she ran away quickly. which most people do when they meet me for the first time. hmmmmmmmmmmmm.
we had a great crowd and i wanted to say thanks to my megan and jody and my mom for staying all night long. love you. good times.

i'm thankful for urban legends that actually work. two weeks ago i lost my i pod. then i found it--after i washed it. my bestie kamari told me that she did the same with hers, but put it in a bag of rice for a week, and then VOILA! it was cured!! i was skeptical but gave it a try. TOTALLY FIXED. who woulda thought?
and last but not least, i am grateful for bubble baths with cousins.

worst job ever: TELEMARKETING

it was 1989. i was 19 years old, going to college at southern utah university in cedar city, utah.

getting a job was a necessary evil--my parents were paying for my rent and school, but for some reason frowned on me laying around listening to milli vanilli on my walkman and watching mtv. part of the deal was me getting gainful employment, but jobs were scarce in that small town. so i applied for the job that every college student was working at: nise corporation telemarketing. i got the position since basically the only requirement for the job was for me to have a pulse and not show up drunk.

i started the 10 day training process with high hopes. we started studying the "scripts"--actual pages and pages of dialogue that they wanted us to use with the potential customer that we had to read from a binder. there were a lot of words, but i memorized fairly fast and considered myself quite skilled in the fine art of winning friends and influencing people. this would be like shooting fish in a barrel, i told myself.

we were selling credit card insurance to card-holders of a large corporation that employed us. keep in mind that this was in the age of guerrilla-style telemarketing: you keep talking and pushing and talking and pushing until the potential victim either caved or screamed naughty words at you and hung up.

the script had a rebuttal for every rejection. if they said, "i need to check with my spouse before i purchase anything." then you would turn to the "talk to my wife/husband prior" page and read the script. if they said, "i don't need credit card insurance." then you would turn to the "in denial of needing insurance." page and torment them some more. any single scenario you could think of? yup, they had a page for it. the answer that was the most dreaded? "my spouse, who was the card-holder, is dead." then you went to the "deceased" page and read from the script which went basically like, "oh. i'm sorry, ma'am/sir. i am so very sorry for your loss. would you happen to be an authorized signer on the card? if not, could you please put them on the phone?" legit.

they did NOT want you to hang up that phone until you had given at least THREE rebuttals. which meant that they had to tell you "no. stop. screw you, you jerk!" thrice before you were allowed to hang up and move on to the next number. that's like a million years in telemarketing-on-the-phone time.

i made it 15 days before having a nervous breakdown. the final straw came when the phone call i had made to a potential customer in modesto, california (will NEVER forget that location. it's scarred into my brain. like a cattle brand.) ended with him telling me that he would bet i was the ugliest looking woman in real life. cue tears, mascara running, and collection of final paycheck after slamming the phone down and yelling, "DAMMIT! i'm OUT."

it was my worst job, ever.

can you 'one up' me on this one?

a barbra streisand christmas and mia's current fave holiday tunes

i'm a big fan of christmas music. my mom and dad used to have a sa-weeet soundsystem in our home that had a 8 track deck AND a record player (only the best for us!). my mom would bring out the christmas music with the decorations and i grew up with the sounds of barbra streisand's a christmas album and the mormon tabernacle choir playing in the background.

i loved coming home from school to find the music playing and the fire blazing. it was a wonderful memory of my childhood, and i only have to hear one of those songs and i'm right back in my ditto jeans, applying my bonnie bell lipsmacker gloss and writing love letters to shaun cassidy.

so i shouldn't be surprised that my children feel the same way about the christmas music WE listen to. but i was, a bit, and tickled as well when mia started belting out wham's "last christmas" the other day. she knew all the words, and sang along during the entire song, placing lots of extra emphasis on "i'll give it to someone SPEEESSSSSSHHHHHUUUUUULLLL!"

some of mia's current christmas favs are:

she won't be home--erasure

green christmas--barenaked ladies (grinch soundtrack)
(you're welcome for the sweet japanese anime video.)

better do it right--smashmouth (grinch soundtrack as well)
(and you're welcome for this one as well.)

winter wonderland--annie lennox of eurythmics

do they know it's christmas?--band aid

the first noel--n'sync

a few albums i would recommend highly? windham hill holiday guitar collection, josh groban noel, n'sync home for christmas (don't hate. seriously. it's REALLY GOOD.) and jars of clay christmas songs.

what good ones am i missing? are there any that you would add to the list?

this is me and my brother, ryan, on christmas morning 1978. i'd like you to notice my superstar barbie corvette complete with superstar barbie AND superstar ken ridin' dirty. AND my stylish bathrobe that lana made for me that matched my sister loni. don't be jealous of our gold couch.

i really wished i had a convertible cabriolet in 1986

when i was in high school, all i wanted was a convertible volkswagon cabriolet. it was THE car of the late 80's in my opinion, and i desperately wanted one. my cutest friend amy with the spiral perm drove a black one and i took any opportunity i could to ride in it.

my parents were practical, though, and bought a mazda glc deluxe for loni and i to share. it only had an am/fm radio, so i used to fantasize about the bitchin' cassette tape player i would be rocking as i was driving the cabriolet, wearing my ton sur ton sweatshirt and guess jeans with the zippers on the ankles.
then the suzuki samurai came out, and it looked like a party-in-a-vehicle. i realized that they were much cheaper than the vw's, so i remember actually trying to convince my parents to buy a used one the summer before my senior year. my parents held fast, though, and i continued to style and profile in the mazda. i drove a friend's samurai a few times in college and was grateful that my parents had ix-nayed the decision because the engine was basically that of a sewing machine.

so, my question to you is: did you drive you dream vehicle in high school? and if you did, is it okay to resent you? (amy.)

do this or get dead: modern-day chain letter or mindi and russ get sucked into a ponzi scheme

my email inbox has a special place in it's heart for spam. lots of it. so i've learned to navigate around the junk emails and hit "delete" in a fast and efficient manner.

what i haven't done is learned how to stop my 11 year old from sending us every modern-day form of the chain letter known to man. chandler is a firm believer that, by accosting friends and loved ones via email, she will find out the name of her true love, make a million dollars in 14 days, keep a little girl in peru from dying, and eliminate cellulite from trouble areas.
but her latest email was just a little more over the top than usual. it read:

On December 24, 2006 at 8 oclock in the morning, a young 14 year old boy by the name of Scott Jackson was found dead. Doctors couldnt come up with the cause of his death. His mother checked his emails to see if she could figure out what happened. Turns out he was still signed into his Yahoo email account. She found he had gone to sleep after he read and didnt send a chain letter about a little girl that kills you in your sleep with no natural cause of death. This is the email she read: My name is Ofelia Heras. Im 16 years old. Im a murderer. I have no face. When you look at me youll die immediately.You have 900 seconds to send this to 24 friends or I will visit you tonight. Do this or get dead.

first of all, i was like, "EWWWWHHH. creepy." then i had to spend a moment wondering what kind of trainwreck english class this person had enrolled in, and THEN i remembered that they were in 7th grade. perhaps even a really advanced 5th grader? and lastly, i spent a good 30 seconds laughing at my 2nd born, thinking about what a gullible little fish she is.

that is, until i remembered THE MOTHER OF ALL CHAIN LETTERS that russ and i fell for-- hard. like flat on our faces.

we were newly married and multi-level marketing was all the big rage. the way to make the big $$$ was to have people working for you in your DOWNLINE!! working for you even when you are not!! letting the POWER OF THE PYRAMID work for you!!

we received a letter that talked about a great opportunity. mail 1 dollar to 100 different people that were on this list. in return, you had the potential to get upwards of $100, 000!!

we knew it was too good to be true. we knew most people wouldn't do it. but the way we figured it, if only 5 percent of the people actually did it, we could make 1000 dollars. being the optimists that we were, we mailed out 100 envelopes to 100 people with 1 dollar in each.

6 months later, we had received 3 dollars.


pigs are flying or Whiskey.Tango.Foxtrot. did mindi really create 72 hour kits for the clove family

see that? it's all 6 of my 72 hour kits--

fully completed. up to date. ready to roll.

i'm fairly certain that hell just froze over.

fall seasonals

presenting thanksgiving seasonals. i love to indulge my decorating a.d.h.d.........

interview with a vampire {lover}: katie gets candid and OMG it's so good

tonight it was katie's turn to get an interview for the blahhhhg. i asked six questions that inquiring minds want to know:

*what is your favorite childhood memory?

katie: when we've gone to disneyland with grandpa & grandma L and all of the aunts, uncles, and cousins. when we went last year, it was the first time we teenagers went off by ourselves and we had so much fun!

*if you had a million dollars, what would you spend it on?

k: clothes, makeup, perfume, twilight paraphernalia. probably MOSTLY twilight paraphernalia.

*who are you listening to on your itunes right now?

k: love lockdown by kanye west, let it rock by kevin rudolph, love remains the same by gavin rossdale. (note from author: if katie's mother has to hear "love remains" one more time blasting from the computer downstairs, she might stick her head in the oven.)

*which subject do you like the most in school?

english because it's easy for me. i think i get that from you. (note to author: move katie up to "favorite child" status.)
but not my math skills. you suck at math, mom. i get that from dad. (note to author: move katie down to "probation" status.)

*you get to drive in less than 2 years. what is your dream car?

a volvo. just like edward cullen.

*who has the coolest mom in the known universe?

me. (note to author: move katie back up.)

coby and ashlynn throw a costume party 2008

ashlynn and coby's halloween costume party was wicked fly--our gracious hosts:

all of the costumes were so creative--

i don't know who this couple was, as they arrived right towards the end of the party, but i absolutely loved his costume--he was gob of arrested development!

here's annie and the chad working their stuff as joe dirt and hannah montana--

ashlynn's brother derek and his wife stevie as stick figures:

i met one of my newest blogging bff's, angie, and her cross-dressing hubby pete. angie is 9 months prego and i think the beer belly is straight up GENIUS:

my favorite part was the fact that pete wanted to feel himself up all night long....

mad props to the 'wind-blown' couple:

possibly my favorite costume couple, EVAH--neal and meg as "scoutmasters":

who wouldn't want neal as the cubmaster?

especially with his donut-on-a-string skillz--totally rocked it and did our family proud:

and then there were the two scariest looking lunch ladies i've ever seen:

russ quite liked the stylish footwear with velcro straps we purchased. i think we'll get a lot of wear out of them:

no words:

a big thank you to ashlynn and coby for hosting this fabulous event!

and for providing the 10 cake-pops that i may or may not have taken home in my treat bag that were all gone by sunday night. allegedly.